Date: Thu Jan 20 2005 - 13:17:02 CST
Quoting Peter Constable <email@example.com>:
> > From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]
> > Behalf Of firstname.lastname@example.org
> > This is slightly revisionist. Long, long ago there were only
> > big-endian encoding schemes with the BOM available to help
> > detect problems. Microsoft insisted on writing datafiles on
> > Intel platforms in a little-endian format. Once this practice
> > was entrenched, the standard renamed the old defined practice
> > as big-endian, documented the little-endian version and created
> > a third with the BOM at the beginning to let people cope with
> > finding either.
> This is a real hoot! Talk about revisionist. Microsoft and other
> companies started writing datafiles on Intel platforms starting back in
> -- what was it? 1981? 1975? Certainly earlier than 1983. Unicode 1.0
> wasn't published until 1990.
My comments need clarification. I meant that Microsoft insisted
on writing datafiles containing Unicode data in little-endian
format. I have no concerns about other data, indeed I was
writing binary data in little-endian format in the 80s myself.
But back when TUS 1.0 came out, I read the bit about Public
Interchange to mean anything outside the confines a program's
core memory. Whether it was on the wire or written to a file
that some other program could read, it should be in big-endian
format. I cheered at this because I had lots of experience
with inter-platform data exchange and so such a statement
meant that there would be one fewer worry in dealing with
multi-byte codepoint representations. And then down the road
when I heard that Microsoft didn't do it that way I lamented.
Now it could be my interpretation of The Right Way back then
was faulty, but I know that my colleagues at the time came
to the same interpretation of TUS 1.0. I have fuzzy memories
that a wider circle of people also read it the way I just
described but I won't lay claim to it. If our learned elders
care to step forward to confirm or deny my interpretation I
would be appreciative. Whatever the case I won't beat the
poor horse anymore.
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